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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

George calls for blockade of Olympic torch relay

April 1, 2008

The Deccan Chronicle
Monday March 31 2008

New Delhi, March 30: The former defence minister, Mr George Fernandes,
has said that China was still a “potential threat number one” to India,
and attacked the UPA government for allowing itself to be “bullied” on
the question of Tibet. Venting anger over the Tibet crisis and India’s
lukewarm response to it, he described as an “error” the National
Democratic Alliance government’s decision to re-endorse Tibet as a part
of China.

“It was not a mistake but an error. It should not have been done,” he
said about India’s decision to reiterate its recognition of Tibet as a
part of China during the previous Atal Behari Vajpayee government, in
which he was defence minister. Mr Fernandes, who is still convenor of
the Opposition NDA, added that the Olympic torch should not be allowed
to come to India and that he had asked his “colleagues” and others to
make “whatever effort” to prevent the flame’s run in this country. In an
interview to Karan Thapar on CNN-IBN , Mr Fernandes said China was
“still potential threat number one” and “could become an enemy”, as he
recalled his statement on similar lines around a decade ago, when he was
a member of the government.

Mr Fernandes went on to say that India should boycott the Olympics in
Beijing scheduled in August, and not allow the Olympic torch to pass
through its territory. “I have asked all my colleagues and those who are
with Tibet that they should prevent China from crossing our border with
this torch,” he said. Commenting on the recent incident of Indian
ambassador Nirupama Rao being summoned by the Chinese foreign ministry
past midnight, Mr Fernandes said New Delhi had “surrendered” over the issue.

“Well, our government allowed it. It has no shame,” he said, adding that
the government should have advised its ambassador to wait till the next
day. “Elsewhere, that’s what would have happened.” Ms Rao was summoned
past midnight to be told of Beijing’s concern over the breach of
security by Tibetan protesters at the Chinese embassy in New Delhi.
“India has sold out to China,” Mr Fernandes alleged. Asked whether India
was being “bullied” by China, Mr Fernandes replied: “Absolutely, and it
accepts it.”
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